Lost in Downsview (Updated)

In case you have nothing else to worry about in this election season, the TTC unleashed one of the less helpful bits of debate a few weeks ago with a proposal to change the names of some of the stations on the Spadina Extension.

The staff proposed that:

  • Finch West, York University, Steeles West, Highway 407 and Vaughan Centre retain their original names
  • Sheppard West be renamed as Downsview Park
  • The existing Downsview Station be renamed Sheppard West

Metrolinx wrote asking that Highway 407 be named something else, but with no suggestions, as this could be too generic a name as other major transit nodes will eventually exist along this highway.

Vaughan Council wrote and appeared by deputation asking that their station be named Vaughan Metropolitan Centre in keeping with the name of their new development district.

Commissioner Perruzza weighed in with a proposal that Finch West be renamed University City Heights.

Update:  This name was actually applied with some objections by residents to the Jane-Finch location, two kilometers to the west, by Councillor Perruzza.  See the Toronto Star from January 2009 for more info.

After a great deal of rather pointless discussion, given the much weightier items on the agenda, the whole matter was referred to the new, post-election Commission.  The approved motion reads:

1. REFER CONSIDERATION OF THE NAME FOR THE VAUGHAN CENTRE TO THE NEXT SCHEDULED COMMISSION MEETING; AND

2. REFER CONSIDERATION OF THE NAMES FOR THE FINCH WEST, STEELES WEST AND DOWNSVIEW STATIONS BACK TO STAFF TO CONSULT WITH THE PUBLIC ON NAMES FOR THOSE STATIONS AND REPORT BACK ONCE COMPLETED.

The motion makes no reference to what we now think of as Sheppard West Station, but I’m sure that will be in the hopper too as it is an essential part of the discussion about which station gets to keep the “Downsview” name.

I am looking forward to the scrolling station name for Vaughan on those undersized destination signs fitted on the TR cars.

As for “University City”, this appears to be a last-ditch move by a soon-to-be-ex Commissioner to impose his idea of what Finch and Keele should be called on the City.  It remains to be seen whether this has general support in the neighbourhood.